Our 50 Mile Training Plan – Improver is designed for runners who want to do well in their 50 miler, perhaps setting a new PR.
The plan is 6 months long and is aimed at runners aiming to continuously run their 50-mile ultra and finish in 7 – 10 hours.
Once you go beyond marathon distance and stray into ultra territory, the training strategies and advice vary an incredible amount.
This training plan was initially developed by pulling strategies from a few sources, and has been refined by myself and several other ultra-runners.
The training plan is available for free in PDF and customizable Google Sheets format in both miles and kilometers.
50 Mile Training Plan – Improver: Essential Info
Who Is It For?:
Our Improver training plans are for established or intermediate runners who want to challenge themselves and perhaps set a new PR. If you’ve already run a distance event such as a marathon and want to improve your performance, this 50 miler training plan might be for you.
Our Improver training plans balance training and miles with rest days and (optional) speed work; only include the speed work if you want to improve your base running speed.
If you’ve got some distance running experience, and want to push yourself a little and move into ultrarunning territory, this is the training program for you.
Six months // 24 weeks.
How Many Days Per Week?:
The majority of this 50-mile training program features 5 days of training per week.
Training Breakdown: What Will Your Weekly Schedule Consist Of?
One day of speed work is included in this plan; this is to improve your base running speed and your running economy.
Time On Your Feet
This is paramount – more important than speed or miles. It’s also the biggest commitment you’ll have to give for your 100km preparation. Your body has to get used to being on your feet for hours on end, so it holds up well come race day.
Hence the huge amount of miles included in this plan. This can mean committing serious chunks of your life (weekends) to running.
An ultramarathon is all about endurance, and muscular strength makes you an endurance animal. Many runners can get by with marathon-length runs by doing only running training.
But once you are on your legs for several hours at a time, having some core strength really helps you keep your form and fuels your endurance. Remember – your whole body is active while running, not just your legs.
I highly recommend doing cross training once per week (more if you manage), focussing on the upper body. If you only have time for one cross-training session, focus on your legs with lunges, squats and stretching – your body will thank you when you’re 10hrs into the race.
Cross-training also improves your cardiovascular health and strengthens some of the muscles weakened through running, thereby reducing your chance of injury. Other recommended cross-training exercises include bodyweight exercises, light gym work, swimming, yoga, pilates, and cycling.
Just like marathon prep, you should be factoring in one long, slow run every weekend. This 50 mile training plan improver plan peaks at a 30 mile long run.
Tapering For A 50 Miler
Tapering is the age-old marathon training technique of letting your training peak 4 weeks before your race and gradually backing off. It’s a nice rule of thumb that means you’ve given yourself plenty of time for preparation.
Tapering minimizes the risk of injury prior to the race and means you should arrive at the start line in the best possible condition. However, you’ll often find that it’s harder to apply such a rigid structure to an ultra-marathon training schedule. Many seasoned ultra-runners barely taper at all – they might just relax a bit more in the week leading up to the event.
Download The 50-Mile Ultramarathon Training Plan (Intermediate) For Free:
- Open the Google Sheets version of this plan
( File > Make A Copy) to create your own version
- Get the TrainingPeaks version of this plan, which you can sync with your device.
Download The Training Plan Here
Enter your email, and I’ll send you this free training plan now, in PDF and Google Sheets formats (completely customizable), in both miles and kilometers.
After entering your email, you’ll be prompted to create an account on the Grow platform we use to control access to the plans. It’s completely free – make sure to complete the process to gain access to the plan!
Previous visitor or not seeing where to sign up?
Head over to our ultramarathon training plan database for full access to all plans.
Check Out The Premium Version of The 50 Mile Improver Training Plan . . .
Access the plan via the TrainingPeaks website and app, track your workouts in real-time against the plan, and get performance data analysis on your progress.
Proven Training Plans by a UESCA-Certified Running Coach
Every one of our training plans has been developed by Thomas Watson, a UESCA-certified running coach.
Thomas is also a podium-finishing ultra-marathon runner and has dozens of marathons under his belt.
Each training plan has been road-tested by hundreds of runners, refined and improved, and is free to download and customize to suit your needs!
Other Suggested Ultramarathon Training Plans
50k Ultramarathon Training Plans
- 50k Ultra Training Plan – Just Finish
- 50k Ultra Training Plan – Improver
- 50k Ultra Training Plan – Compete
50-Mile Ultramarathon Training Plans
- 50 Mile Ultra Training Plan – Just Finish
- 50 Mile Ultra Training Plan – Improver
- 50 Mile Ultra Training Plan – Compete
100k Ultramarathon Training Plans
- 100k Ultra Training Plan – Just Finish
- 100k Ultra Training Plan – Improver
- 100k Ultra Training Plan – Compete